County crew recovers most of 4,200 gallons of raw sewage spilled at Bee Ridge-Lorraine Road intersection after contractor breaks pipeline

No surface waters affected

A red balloon marks the intersection of Bee Ridge Road and Lorraine Road in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

After a contractor’s crew struck a 6-inch Sarasota County sewer force main on Feb. 12, approximately 4,200 gallons of raw sewage spilled at the intersection of Bee Ridge Road and Lorraine Road in Sarasota, county Public Utilities Department staff has notified the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

“Our crews quickly isolated the [force] main and stopped the spill,” a Public Utilities Department supervisor wrote in the report, adding that about 4,200 gallons “were recovered with the vacuum truck.”

The supervisor also pointed out, “No surface waters were impacted.”

County staff was notifying the affected property owners and residents, the report added, and the clean-up of the area was “proceeding per protocol.”

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains, “Force mains are pipelines that convey wastewater under pressure from the discharge side of a pump or pneumatic ejector to a discharge point. Pumps or compressors located in a lift station provide the energy for wastewater conveyance in force mains.”
An incident report would be submitted to the county’s risk management personnel, the report continued, “to seek reimbursement [from the contractor] for all costs incurred.”

The incident began at 2 p.m. on Feb. 12, the report notes; the situation was resolved by 4 p.m.

This is the FDEP graphic showing the site of the sewage spill. Image courtesy FDEP

A call had alerted county staff to the sewage spill, the report explained.

The sewer force main is part of the infrastructure associated with the county’s largest wastewater treatment plant, the Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility, which stands at 5550 Lorraine Road.